Yamaha TDM850

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Yamaha TDM850
Yamaha TDM850 Mk I
Manufacturer Yamaha Motor Company
Also called TDM
Production 1991- 2001
Predecessor XTZ 750 Super Tenere
Successor TDM900
Class Adventure bike
Engine 850 cc liquid-cooled multi-valve parallel-twin
Transmission 5-speed manual
Seat height 795cm
Fuel capacity 20 ltrs
Yamaha TDM850 Mk II with 270° engine

The Yamaha TDM is an 849 cc dohc parallel-twin motorcycle that heralded the modern "Adventure Sports" category. The TDM was first manufactured by the Yamaha Motor Company of Japan in 1991. The TDM has a pressed-steel frame and a dry sump engine with five valves per cylinder, (three inlet and two exhaust). The engine has a maximum output of 63.4 kW (86PS) at 7,500 rpm and 88.8 Nm (9.1 kg-m) of torque at 6,000 rpm.[1]


The TDM was arguably the first road-oriented "Adventure Sports" motorcycle. It was not intended as an off-road machine, but as a comfortable yet manoeuvrable all-rounder, rather like the Ducati Multistrada of later years. A TDM is too bulky and heavy for serious off-road work, but its long-travel suspension can cope with gravel tracks.

The TDM's engine was derived from the Paris Dakar winning Yamaha XTZ 750 Super Tenere. Yamaha intended to create a motorcycle capable of handling European mountain roads and coping with rougher road surfaces. The TDM's upright riding position seemed radical in its day.

The TDM was imported into the United States for only two years, 1992 and 1993. It was never a big seller in the United Kingdom nor at first in The Netherlands, but sales were strong in other European countries, particularly in France, Germany and Greece.[citation needed].

In 1996 Yamaha released the Mk2 TDM with updated bodywork and a 270° firing order instead of the previous 360°. This modified engine was first seen in 1995, when Yamaha introduced its TRX850 in Japan. The 270° engine gave the TDM an attractive new character, not unlike a V-twin. The 270° TDM went on to become one of the top 15 best-selling bikes in the Netherlands.


Yamaha TDM900

In 2001 the 3rd incarnation arrived, the TDM900, with new bodywork, a diamond-shaped alloy frame, a 6-speed gearbox, fuel-injection, R1 derived brakes, a reduced dry weight of 190 kg, a larger-capacity 900cc engine, and slightly wider tyres (160 rear, 120 front). It has a 2-position trip meter, a digital clock, and digital fuel meter. ABS was available as an option.


MCN said of the TDM850 Mk II: "Fairly revolutionary when launched and certainly years ahead of its time, the Yamaha TDM850 was a sort of Multistrada 12 years before Ducati thought of it. As a serious ‘street trailie allrounder' it’s pretty effective too. The later 900 is better, but the Yamaha TDM850 is still decent, good value, different, and largely overlooked". [2]

MCN later said of the TDM900: "The Yamaha TDM900 is a streetbiking oddball that’s as brilliant beating congestion as it is swinging bends. The parallel twin motor is spunky enough for fun, while the wide bars really let you take charge and hustle. It’s such an easy motorcycle to ride you could do it with your eyes shut".[3]


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